MHM book review for Scout, The Flying Phantom

I typically do not like mysteries. However, the more I read this book, the more I found myself getting into the story and really enjoying it!

Judging from the title, one would expect the story to be all about a dog. Well, you’d be sort of kind of right (not really). It’s more about a group of boys and their dog, who are looking for adventures before there were screens and mindless distractions. They were resourceful, hard working, and disciplined friends. It’s funny how not having entertainment at the tips of your fingers can actually encourage kids to do some really incredible things!

To give Scout, the dog, credit, he was the glue that helped put all the pieces of the story together. Without Scout, the story wouldn’t be complete.

Obviously, the majority of the story is about the mysterious Flying Phantom. The townspeople are not quite sure who or what in the world is stealing valuable things from people, but the boys get drawn into catching the thief or ghost or whatever it is. A character from a previous book in the Scout series, Captain Brandenburg, help to solve the mystery using “courage, tenacity, and wit to track a very unusual kind of criminal.”

I won’t give away the entire story, but I will say it is definitely a page turner. I especially loved how the story not only showed how a group of boys can get together to accomplish much, such as building a raft as well as a small hut with just boards and creativity, but it also subtly showed obedience and respect to parents. For example, when one of the boys stepped over the line, he never acted out in rebellion, trying to get his own way. Instead, he submitted to the authority of his parents and confessed his indiscretion.

I also really appreciated how the author, Piet Prins, was able to not only tell a good mystery, but to weave into the story a biblical worldview without it sounding forced. I’ve read a few children’s books that had Christianity thick throughout. Clearly there is nothing wrong with that! But it’s also nice to have a story that is not necessarily dripping with Christianity that is still God glorifying as well as suspenseful and interesting.

This goes to show that every story comes with a worldview. Whether it’s blatant or more subtle, it’s there. It is so important for those of us who are parents or teachers to encourage the children the LORD has entrusted to us to feed their minds with good, wholesome books. By no means does that mean long and boring! But what it does mean is that we must be intentional about what our children’s minds are consuming. I wholeheartedly can say this is one of those books that you can give your kids to read with zero worries!

I would definitely recommend this book for 10 – 12 year olds (4th – 6th grade). Especially for those kids who really enjoy mysteries and suspense, this would be the perfect read! Check it out, as well as the many other books we have to offer! Happy reading!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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